We Remember

KALCIC, Shirley

April 7, 1928 — January 10, 2022

Phyllis Shirley Elsie Alderman Brand Kalcic (Shirley) was born on April 7, 1928 in Vernon, BC to Alice Sisley Alderman and Edwin “Doc” Alderman. She was raised with her 2 sisters June & Beth on the Coldstream Ranch where she learned to love everything outdoors and sporty. (Think horseback riding to Kalamalka Lake for swimming & picnicking.) Upon graduation from high school, Shirley attended Teachers College in Vancouver and then taught at the Jericho School for the Blind and Deaf.

At a dance, she was swept off her feet by the handsome, strong Constable Ken Brand. They married several years later, just before Ken entered training as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police force. Shortly after Ken’s graduation, they were posted to Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River in far northern BC, again embracing everything in nature. (The winters were long, dark and very cold but the friendships were warm). In 3 year stints, Ken and Shirley traversed the province for the RCMP (Telegraph Creek, Nanaimo, Enderby) before settling in Mission, where they finished raising their 4 energetic and athletic children: Peter, David, Jill & Kim.

Shirley began a career in real estate in Mission and it became a passion. Known as “deal-a-day Shirley”, she worked tirelessly and was awarded the honour of Top Real Estate Salesman in Western Canada within her agency. She was committed to improving her education and the industry and it was marked by a series of firsts: She was the first female President of the Westminister County Real Estate Board (now the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board) and the first female President of the BC Real Estate Association.

Shirley loved the sun and loved to travel. Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Fiji and Tahiti, she worked hard and celebrated by travel to sunny climes. She also loved and excelled at every sport she took up: golf, tennis, racquetball, boating. Oh, and fishing. There was simply nothing she loved more than being in a boat with a fishing rod over the side. She was a superb fisherman (“None of that fisherwoman crap,” she declared) and travelled to Campbell River and Queen Charlotte with favourite friends many times in pursuit of the big ones. She never reached her goal of being a member of the Tyee Club (missed it by 1 lb) but she sure loved trying! She bought herself a cabin cruiser, named it “Why Knot” and spent weekends cruising the Gulf Islands fishing, crabbing and digging for clams with family and friends.

As Shirley’s career rose, her marriage crumbled. Needing a complete change, she bought the Mile 115 Cariboo Lodge & Bar with 2 girlfriends (another first!) and moved to Lac La Hache, BC. Again, she embraced the community and the lifestyle. Fishing and boating, of course, but also ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, pool and poker. ‘The 15’ was the community center of the area and Shirl, Cass and Lynn were at the center of ‘the 15’.
She was a 40-year breast cancer survivor: TWICE. Both times, she undertook her treatment as she did everything else: with grace, grit and determination. After selling the Lodge, Shirley enjoyed another round of successful real estate sales across the Cariboo. It was nothing for her to travel 4 hours just to show one property (and usually sell it). She became a ‘snowbird’, spending many winters in the California desert with her partner Biff Buckaloo. There, she discovered another sport she could excel at: shuffleboard. Shirley is inducted in the California Shuffleboard Hall of Fame and her picture hangs next to her sister June Parsons’. Upon retirement, Shirley moved back to the Okanagan. She enjoyed her final years in the Missionwood and Summerwood retirement communities in Kelowna. She made many friends, enjoying dinners, playing cards, shooting pool and weekly poker games.

Mourning her loss are Shirley’s children Peter Brand, David Brand (Kari), Jill Weiss (Kirk) and Kim Brand; her sister-in-law Beverley Moore; and her daughter-in-law Irene Brand. She was an incredibly proud Grandma to her beloved grandchildren Steve (Jennifer), Kevin (Christa), Kris (Tricia), Azul, and her step granddaughter Alicia. She leaves behind 10 great-grands (with one more on the way), and many extended family and friends.

Shirley never intended to be a trailblazer, but she was. Not only in her careers, but most importantly in how she impacted everyone who knew her. Equally comfortable digging worms and dining at the Four Seasons, she enthusiastically embraced life and everyone she met in it. She was a strong, dynamic, intelligent force of nature.

Shirley’s favorite song was “I Did It My Way” and yes, yes she did.


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